The River of Blood (Kuruthippunal) was first published in Tamil in 1975. As a work of art, the novel lends itself to many layers of meaning, and the complexity of the novel stands testimony to the multifaceted personality of its author. The novel is based on the Keezhavenmani carnage of 1967 in which 442 Harijans were burnt to death in a landlord-peasant clash. To be agrarian problem, tinged with untouchability, Indira Parthasarathy gives a psychological dimension, which is the unique aspect of the book. Parthasarathy has beautifully highlighted the degradation in the field of politics and the corruption having assumed the way of life.
Indira Parthasarathy (1930) is a scholar, creative writer, literary critic, cultural historian and thinker. An academician he had a long and distinguished career in Delhi University where he came under the influence of western literature. Of his novels the one which stands out and brought to him the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1977 is Kuruthippunal. Some of his stories have gone beyond the shores of India to Spain, France, Russia and Middle East. Besides his novels and short stories, he has carved a niche for himself in Tamil Drama and so far written nine plays, published in two volumes. The awards and honours he has received included the Sahitya Akademi Award, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Saraswati Samman and Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award.
K. Naa. Subramanyam (1912-1988), the translator is a versatile and gifted writer himself, writing both in English and Tamil since his school days. He has written over seventy books, which include collections of poetry and short stories, novels, and books on literary criticism. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1986 for his collection of critical essays on literary criticism Ilakkiyathukku or Iyakkam.
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